Thursday, April 26, 2012

Remembering the toxic red sludge

On October 4th, 2010, a huge red toxic sludge tsunami moved across the western Hungarian countryside. The sludge originated at the Ajkai Timföldgyár alumina plant in Ajka. A dam on one of the reservoirs collapsed  freeing about a million cubic metres of liquid waste that was stored there. Nine people were killed by the toxic sludge and about 122 injured. Countless animals were also killed in the flood. The waste that was stored in the reservoirs was a byproduct of aluminum production and it was extremely toxic. 
The sludge burned right through people's clothing and burning their skin as well. The near by village of Kolontar was completely flooded by the toxic sludge. The height of the red sludge tsunami was as high as six feet. The sludge threatened the local ecosystem as well as the Danube river. This was Hungary's worst ecological disaster. It put Hungary in the international spotlight as it not only threatened Hungary's ecosystem, but those of neighbouring countries. Hopefully this tragedy will never happen again to the people of Hungary.